Gaelic Wolf Consulting
241 Sand Road
Port Townsend, WA 98368

Blue grouse
Blue grouse in Olympic National Park, Washington, © Norman MacLeod

Natural resource policy design services

Natural resource policy is typically developed by government agency staff working from guidance provided by statute and ordinances enacted by elected officials, plus prior rule-making.  Draft rules and regulations are presented for public comment and review, and may be modified as a result of such citizen input.  If the process is too inflexible, the resulting policy may not meet the needs of the people who have to live and work under its provisions.

At Gaelic Wolf Consulting, we believe that the people who live and work with the landscape and its resources need to be directly involved in developing the policies that protect their ecosystems and provide the balance that allows them to continue with their day to day activities and new opportunities. Those who live in an area where new regulations are implemented have a deeply personal stake in how ecosystem functions and natural resource uses are balanced for future sustainability than do policy-makers who live somewhere else.

We prefer policy outcomes based primarily on education and incentive, with regulation of individual activities as a rarely needed last resort.

We build teams of professionals in scientific and technical fields, agency staff, and stakeholder representatives to design natural resource policies that protect wildlife habitat and environmental quality while including productive working landscapes that support economically sound communities.  We begin by learning about the scope of the issues you are working with, and how proposed or new regulations impact your community.  With your help, we gather information about the underlying issues  and the existing science being used to support the proposed solutions that are brought forward.  We also work with you to develop a public communications approach that will bring your concerns and ideas to the table.

Next, we discuss your issue with trusted scientists, attorneys, representatives of professional organizations, and others with years of hands-on experience in natural resource research, policy development, implementation, and management. Working together, we help identify a range of options that provide the levels of ecosystem protection needed, with the lightest possible regulatory burden for those who live within the affected ecosystems.

Because the quality of the science being used to justify and support evolving policies is so very important, we believe that fully independent, rigorous peer review of the studies and syntheses used is essential to the process. We will help you obtain that review.

We guide your local government/stakeholder team in building policies both to your community and ecosystem needs. As you work with other stakeholder groups and government staff, we assist in making your participation as fully effective as possible. The result will be a well-balanced, sensitive, and productive regulatory framework tailored to your local economic and ecosystem conditions.